University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Anatomy and Neurobiology ~ 2012 Annual Report

Selected Highlights

  • ANNB faculty published in journals such as: Developmental Neurobiology; Gastroenterology; Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology; Nature Medicine; and Toxicology.
  • Rae Nishi, Ph.D., became an Elected Member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives supported by the Dana Foundation. She is the first elected member from Vermont for this prestigious group of 300 prominent neuroscientists who are actively engaged in public outreach.
  • Several faculty members gave presentations at international conferences. Gary Mawe, Ph.D., spoke at the Joint International Meeting of Neurogastroenterology and Motility in Bologna, Italy, in September, 2012. Victor May, Ph.D., was an Invited Speaker at the 10th International Symposium on PACAP, VIP and Related Peptides in Eilat, Israel, December 13 - 16, 2011.

Rodney L. Parsons, Ph.D., Chair

The final year of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (ANNB) was a productive and exciting one. Effective August 1, 2012, ANNB merged with the Department of Neurology to create the new Department of Neurological Sciences. This union brings together basic scientists and clinicians with a common interest in neuroscience, and offers unique opportunities to enhance educational, research and clinical missions in neuroscience within the College and medical center. Rodney Parsons, Ph.D., who established the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in 1980, will step down as soon as the chair of the new combined department is recruited.

Over the past year, ANNB faculty continued to make significant contributions to all missions of the College. Departmental faculty remained actively engaged in medical student, undergraduate and graduate student teaching. Four ANNB faculty, Carson Cornbrooks, Ph.D., Elizabeth Ezerman, Ph.D., Jerome Fiekers, Ph.D., and Cynthia Forehand, Ph.D., served as course directors in the Foundations Level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum. Ellen Black, Ph.D., and Jean Szilva, M.D., received awards from the medical students in recognition of their teaching skills and dedication. Many ANNB faculty, including Dr. Black, Dr. Ezerman, Dr. Forehand, Gary Mawe, Ph.D., and Margaret Vizzard, Ph.D., committed significant time to make the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center exhibit “Our Body: the Universe Within” an overwhelming success. Dr. Mawe served as a spokesperson for the College of Medicine, which co-sponsored the exhibit. Faculty also supported many University-wide initiatives and served on numerous university and college governance committees. Dr. Forehand is an associate dean in the Graduate College, and Rae Nishi, Ph.D., continued to serve as director of the UVM Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Spire of Excellence and the multi-college neuroscience graduate program.

Departmental research includes work in autonomic and developmental neurobiology, neural regeneration and plasticity, neurotoxicology and neuro-oncology. Research activities have continued to grow over the past year, supported in part by new National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants and a five-year National Center for Research Resources Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) transitional neuroscience grant. This award will support our Cell/Molecular Biology Core Facility, Imaging/Physiology Core Facility, and small pilot projects. A recently awarded $600,000 shared instrument grant will fund the purchase of a state-of-the-art multiphoton microscope for the COBRE Imaging/Physiology Core.

ANNB faculty remained active in professional societies, were members of journal editorial boards, served as manuscript reviewers for numerous scientific journals, were members of NIH and National Science Foundation (NSF) review committees, and participated in community outreach programs.

Last modified January 25 2013 09:52 AM